7 Easy Ways to Reduce Inflammation for Improved Health
You’ve probably already heard about how important it is to reduce inflammation. There are so many books and blogs on the anti-inflammatory diet. But did you know inflammation when used as it should be used is actually good for you?
Inflammation, in small appropriate doses, is extremely beneficial. When we are injured, our body kicks in with inflammation to protect and heal whatever area was hurt. This is just one of the ways the immune system works to aid the body.
Where it goes all wrong is with chronic inflammation. We are not supposed to be always inflamed. For many different reasons, our immune system can go haywire and start creating inflammation all the time in all sorts of areas of the body.
And as we are about to see, this chronic inflammation is extremely detrimental to the body – causing long-term, uncomfortable, and sometimes even deadly health problems.
I’m going to show you a new study on the connection between inflammation and heart attacks and stroke. Then I’ll show you a list of other health problems connected to too much inflammation.
But don’t worry – I’m going to show you all the bad stuff inflammation can do to the body, but then I’m also going to show you how you can reduce inflammation. It may be easier than you think. You just have to be intentional with some of your choices.
A New Study On Inflammation, Heart Attacks, and Stroke
Heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke are some of the most prevalent and serious conditions plaguing humankind. And as it turns out – inflammation is playing a key role in worsening these conditions.
One multi-year large-scale study looked at the way inflammation can affect these health outcomes. Researchers looked at over 10,000 people all with two things in common:
- They already had a heart attack at some point in their life
- They have elevated high sensitivity C-reactive protein (which is a marker that shows if you have high inflammation)
Then these patients were split into four groups based on treatment:
- Group 1 received 50 mg of canakinumab (an anti-inflammatory)
- Group 2 received 150 mg of canakinumab (an anti-inflammatory)
- Group 3 received 300 mg of canakinumab (an anti-inflammatory)
- Group 4 received a placebo
These doses were given subcutaneously every three months for up to four years. Here were some of the results:
- Those taking the 150 and 300 mg dose had a 15% reduction in any cardiovascular issue, both fatal and nonfatal
- They also reduced the need for medical interventions (an example would be a bypass surgery) by 30%
- These results are all better than taking cholesterol-lowering medications alone (the current go-to treatment)
The researchers then concluded:
“We’ve been able to definitively show that lowering inflammation independent of cholesterol reduces cardiovascular risk. This has far-reaching implications. It tells us that by leveraging an entirely new way to treat patients — targeting inflammation — we may be able to significantly improve outcomes for certain very high-risk populations.”
So clearly reducing inflammation can reduce these serious problems – what else could reducing inflammation fix?
RELATED: 12 Natural Remedies for Inflammation
Other Health Risks Associated With Inflammation
Heart attacks and strokes are not the only two health problems that can be reduced or eliminated when you lower inflammation. The list is actually very long.
Inflammation causes problems for conditions like:
- Cancer: an MIT study found that chronic inflammation runs a high risk of genetic mutations that lead to cancer
- Chronic Kidney Disease: Those with this difficult condition often also have high markers of inflammation
- Osteoporosis: Scientists believe inflammation is one of the factors in developing osteoporosis later in life
Many of the other conditions connected to chronic inflammation include:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Allergies and asthma
- Celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- And much more
How To Reduce Inflammation
We clearly see that too much inflammation is a massive health hazard, but what can we actually do about it? Fortunately, there’s a whole lot we can do!
Here are 7 ways you can reduce inflammation in your body starting today.
1. Anti-inflammatory Diet
The first step you should be taking is a diet overhaul. It’s simple math: you need to cut out any foods that increase inflammation and eat more foods that decrease inflammation. Here’s a rundown.
Cut out these foods that increase inflammation:
- Sugar (especially refined sugars)
- Refined flour
- Processed food
- Red meat
- Processed meat (like hot dogs)
- Fried foods
Eat more of these foods that decrease inflammation:
- Fruits (especially berries and tomatoes)
- Vegetables (especially green leafy vegetables)
- Nuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds
- Olive oil and coconut oil
- Fatty fish (like salmon, tuna)
One of the best ways to make this happen is to either follow a plant-based (or vegan) diet or a pescatarian diet (where fish is your only meat). Here are some plant-based soups to try for lunch or dinner this week:
2. Improve Your Gut
Having an overall healthy and anti-inflammatory diet is a great foundation for lowering inflammation. But then you will have to take some specific diet and lifestyle steps to boost your gut health in particularly.
Most of your body’s immune system actually resides in your gut. And since inflammation is an immune system function, it’s imperative to have a happy gut for lowered inflammation.
Here are the top three steps you can take:
- Use Antibiotics Sparingly: We should only take antibiotics when we absolutely have to – most people are being prescribed way too many unnecessary rounds of antibiotics. The problem is they kill the gut’s good bacteria just as much as they kill the bad bacteria.
- Take Probiotic Pills: Taking a supplement of live, active good bacteria will replenish any that have been killed by antibiotics or poor health
- Eat Fermented Foods: Fermentation can create natural probiotics in foods you love to eat – my favorites include sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, and kimchi
3. Find Any Food Allergies
It’s quite possible that unknown food allergies or sensitivities are causing inflammation in your body each time you eat a meal. Go to your doctor for allergy testing and/or start an elimination diet to see if any foods are triggering an inflammatory response.
To start you out on an elimination diet, here are some of the most common food allergies/sensitivities:
Simply not eating the foods you are allergic to is one of the top ways of decreasing chronic inflammation.
4. Sleep More
Your body needs sleep to repair itself. When you don’t get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night, your body may have more inflammation. If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep you’re not alone. Both chronic and acute insomnia are really common. Here are a few tips to help:
- Take an all-natural sleep aid: Eu Natural’s Serenity Sleep Aid is my favorite; it combines incredible ingredients like melatonin and magnesium to support your body’s proper sleep function
- Get rid of light: This includes your phone, tablet, or TV screens; buy black-out curtains.
- Get rid of disturbing noises: Using a sound machine can block out the sounds of neighbors or a snoring partner
- Meditate: Try to meditate or go through guided imagery right before you fall asleep for about 5 to 10 minutes
- Use Essential Oils: Click here to learn about my 7 favorite essential oils for better sleep
5. Get Rid Of Toxins
Remember: your skin is the largest organ in your body. So when you put a bunch of toxic chemicals on your skin in the form of toiletries and beauty products, you are absorbing them and increasing inflammatory responses.
(This also goes for toxins you breathe in!)
Here’s how to banish toxins from your home:
- EWG: Check out all the brands of cleaners, toiletries, and beauty products on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database. It will tell you if it’s safe to use or if you should toss it out.
- Replace: Any bad product on EWG should be replaced with either a brand with a better score or an all-natural homemade alternative (like baking soda and white vinegar for a cleaner)
You don’t need to feel overwhelmed by this process. Here’s how I made the big switch: each time I used up a product, I replaced it with a safe all-natural version.
Studies have shown a link between those who say they are regularly physically active and have lowered inflammation. So it is incredibly important that you find a way to move your body consistently.
The goal should be to do something you enjoy, so you can do it regularly. My personal favorites are mixing up weight training with yoga classes and hiking.
Perhaps you can start a weekly dance class, buy a bike, try a Pilates or barre studio, or even follow a YouTube exercise series for free. I like the Tone It Up videos. Here’s one to try today:
7. Take An All-Natural Anti-Inflammatory
There are lots of over-the-counter anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) that can reduce inflammation. But many of these come with negative side effects, especially with long-term use. They’re not meant to be taken day-to-day.
One alterative you have is to take all-natural anti-inflammatory substances.
- Celadrin®: This is a blend of fatty acids that reduces inflammation (it’s particularly effective for joint inflammation)
- Turmeric Curcumin: The yellow spice turmeric has a compound called curcumin, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties
- Boron: This lesser-known mineral is necessary for the body to reduce chronic inflammation
- Vitamin D: Most people are deficient in vitamin D, yet it plays a very important role in lowering body inflammation
Reducing Inflammation For Improved Health
As you can tell the importance of reducing inflammation for your health is extremely high – we are talking about saving ourselves from deadly and debilitating diseases. And the ways to go about lowering inflammation are relatively easy – diet choices, movement, exercises, and some natural supplements.
Take the initiative to improve your overall health today. Cut that inflammation now!
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